The ATO looked into a family's income after they posted photos of a holiday with business class flights to Whistler on Facebook

Skiers in Whistler. Photo: George Rose/ Getty Images.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is analysing data from people’s social media platforms to find if their declared income matches their lifestyles.

Doing so it hopes to fill the gap between the tax that would be paid if all ­income was declared ​and ­the ­actual amount collected, which was $187.1 billion in 2015-16.

A report in The Australian today reveals an example of the cases being targeted by the tax office.

The family in question had reported to have two incomes of $80,000 and $60,000 but the three children all attended private schools and recently the family had gone on a holiday to Whistler, all of them flying business class.

Commissioner Chris Jordan said the process is just reacting to “the reality of the age we live in that there is more and more information publicly available, particularly through social media”.

But added: “We only go looking when something just doesn’t add up.”

The ATO collects information from a range of public and private sources including motor registries, the stock exchange and online selling platforms.

The Australian has more.

* Correction: A previous version of this story stated the gap between the tax that would be paid if all ­income was declared ​and ­the ­actual amount collected was $187.1 billion. This has been corrected to reflect that the $187.1 billion figure is the total individuals net tax collection for 2015-16.

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